David Denton would be really beneficial at prop - Colin Deans

Dave Denton in action for Scotland
Dave Denton goes to ground with the ball too often for Colin Deans' liking
Ireland v Scotland
Date: Saturday, 15 August Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online

Dave Denton could provide an answer for Scotland's front row troubles, suggests former captain Colin Deans.

The 25-year-old will win his 26th cap in the back row for Saturday's World Cup warm-up match in Ireland.

But Deans thinks Scotland have missed a trick by not working on a positional change for the Edinburgh player.

"There are a lot of 6ft, 4in props around these days," said the 60-year-old. "I'd have converted Denton 12 months ago."

Deans, Scotland's 1984 Grand Slam hooker, led his country at the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

And he thinks the key weakness in the present team, whitewashed in this year's Six Nations, is across numbers one to three.

"There's many in the back row who have converted to prop," Deans told BBC Radio Scotland. "Alex Brewster did it during my era.

"I don't think Denton is a number eight, he's not a positive player. He dives with the ball too often. He doesn't have the skills needed but I think he'd be really beneficial at prop.

"It should have been done last season. If you don't have a player for a position in international rugby, you make one.

"We've never really dominated and had world class in the front row since the 1990s and there are a lot of good back row players who are probably just half a yard too slow for international rugby.

"These guys are terriers, they're good defensively, with good ball skills. You need to look at these potential options and try them out."

Colin Deans in action for Scotland
Deans was capped 52 times for Scotland between 1978 and 1987

Fraser Brown starts against the Irish in an experimental team and Deans is tipping the 26-year-old Glasgow Warriors man to be Scotland's first choice hooker when the World Cup kicks off next month.

He would also parachute Edinburgh prop WP Nel straight in now that the South Africa-born players qualifies under residency rules.

"I think Fraser Brown has to start," added Deans. "Ross Ford doesn't bring enough to the game for me. Then you're looking at Nel."

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